High Court rejects move by Najib to delay 1MDB trial

KUALA LUMPUR: An application by Datuk Seri Najib Razak to have the ongoing 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) postponed was denied by the High Court.

The trial was supposed to last until Thursday (Feb 18) for this week, and the court was informed the former prime minister had applied to a court in the United States to obtain the names of 1MDB officials involved in a bribery scandal with a former partner of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

This was mentioned in Najib's application before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah on Tuesday (Feb 16).

However, Justice Sequerah denied the application to postpone and ordered for the trial to continue.

Najib's lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had raised the matter and sought the postponement on grounds the outcome of the application in the Manhattan court filed on Nov 17,2020 would have a huge impact on the current trial.

He said the defence was seeking documents and testimony through the US court for information on the alleged bribery of 1MDB officials by former Goldman official Tim Leissner.

"In the proceedings in the US where Tim Leissner and Goldman Sachs pleaded guilty, Leissner had actually said and admitted to the fact that he had paid bribes to several officials in 1MDB.

"They admitted to the act of bribery and we have therefore filed a discovery application and asked Leissner and Goldman Sachs to reveal the names of those that they have bribed," Shafee said.

He added that the disclosure of the names was relevant to Najib's defence to prove the prosecution witnesses lack credibility and were merely instruments of fugitive financier Low Taek Jho.

He also said the defence planned to recall several witnesses to the stand for cross-examination upon obtaining the relevant documents from the US application and this includes former 1MDB CEO Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi.

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